Angelenos are pretty crafty people, so naturally there’s an L.A.’s Got Talent event dedicated to making things.
Among the activities we will be sponsoring this afternoon are: A friendship bracelet-making lesson from Mikhai Tran. A KXLU Demolisten live broadcast. A DIY contact mic sesh with Rob Wilkinson (of the group Laco$te). And—thanks to our very kind friend Vlad the Retailer, a free screen printing workshop.
Just bring your own shirts (medium or dark colors work great).
Leading the demo will be artist Christopher Payne, whose work is in the show.
Screen printing changed Chris’ life.
How long have you ben silkscreening and how did you get into this artform?
Around 2003 I met John Thill, who is now one of my closest friends. At the time he was running a small label called Nightpass and had agreed to release an album for me. The album was called Horsefeathers and we were doing a run of 100 CD-Rs. He decided that we should screen print the art onto some heavy card stock for the covers. I had no idea what screen printing was at the time but we did the entire process together. I fell in love with the process almost instantly. I loved the texture of the print on the paper as well as the subtle inconsistencies of each print. They gave each print their own unique character. I knew immediately that I wanted to continue to print things this way.
How many screens have you made/pulled over the years?
I really couldn’t count how many different designs I’ve printed. I started printing merchandise for my band Whitman, then later for releases on my label Folktale once I got that going. Then over time I began to print shirts, patches, show posters, and about anything else I could think of. There’s even a screen print on the trunk of my Corolla!
Silkscreening has become a big part of your Folktale Recs maybe you could talk about that?
When I started Folktale I was releasing things in very small quantities. Some as low as 25 to 50 copies. I knew from the beginning that if I was going to run a label that I wanted each release to be unique and have a one of a kind feel. Over time as people became interested in what I was releasing, the quantities started to increase and I was doing runs up to 500 copies. When doing a quantity of that number it’s not really very feasible to hand paint or make collages on each copy individually, so I found that screen printing the packaging was a way that kept the unique feeling of each copy that I wanted. Over time my designs became multi-colored and more elaborate and now it’s pretty rare that at least part of one of my releases isn’t screen printed.
What’s your most recent silkscreened release and any special stories behind it’s creation?
The last release that I screen printed was the LP for my record “I’ll Be Waiting”. It was a three color design on the front and two colors on the back, so each copy had to be printed five times. I only pressed 300 copies of it but I still had to do 1,500 pulls to do that. I think it came out beautifully but it definitely kicked the shit out of me for a couple weekends.
Is there anything that folks should know—or bring—on Friday?
If you plan on trying to do some printing yourself on Friday, which I recommend, especially if you never have before, I’d wear something you aren’t too concerned about getting an ink stain or two on. Also if you have a shirt or something you would like to have printed with the LA..’s Got Talent design that was made special for this show, then you should bring that as well.
Don’t miss the event tonight…
FRI 8/5 5pm FREE:
No, we won’t be making dreamcatchers. But dreams do come true on craft night.
**Print your own “L.A.’s Got Talent” clothing item, just bring a blank shirt.**
JUST ADDED –>• 5:15pm: Make your own contact mic with Rob from Laco$te. Bring $2 to cover costs.
• 5:30pm: Friendship bracelet workshop with Mikhai Tran. Learn how these special bands are made.
• 8pm-close: New recorded music curated by Folktale Records
• 9pm: Dirtbike Puppet Theatre
• 10pm: Shadow puppets by Three Chairs Theater Company